Emily Day

Emily Day transforms music education with faith and passion.

From a childhood enriched by OBU's community to becoming a beacon of inspiration as a music educator, Emily's journey is a testament to the power of mentorship, faith, and academic excellence.

In the world of education, mentorship plays a crucial role in shaping the future.

This is evident in the story of Melissa Lee, an alumna of Oklahoma Baptist University, and Emily Day, a current OBU student. Together, they exemplify what it means to be future shapers in the field of music education.

A Journey Rooted in Faith and Music

Day's journey to becoming a music educator began long before she even entered college. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and raised in Broken Arrow, Day's family relocated to Shawnee when her father Kenny took a job at OBU.

This move would set the stage for her future, as she quickly became immersed in the community on Bison Hill.

From a young age, Day was aware of her parents' connection to OBU. However, it was their move to Shawnee when she was in the sixth grade that solidified her bond with OBU.

But it was through her involvement in the music preparatory department and the mentorship of her high school choir teacher, Justin Lee, an OBU Music Education program graduate, that Day's path became clear. "God made it very clear that I was to attend OBU and major in music," Day shares.

She has pursued a bachelor of music education with a vocal emphasis at OBU and will graduate in May. Throughout her college career, Day has always found reassurance and guidance through her faith. The Outstanding Junior Voice Award and life-changing experiences in Egypt affirmed her calling to teach music.

Day's faith has played a significant role in her journey. "Here, faith is not the enemy of education. It’s the very heart," she says, echoing OBU's commitment to faith integration.

A Future Shaper in the Making

Day sees every season of her life as preparation for the next, with a divine hand guiding her steps. She acknowledges the impact OBU has had on her, making her a more mature, intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally well-rounded individual. As she approaches her last semester at OBU, she is confident in her ability to shape the future.

“I see every season in my life as preparation for the next, with the Lord's intentional hand orchestrating my steps all along the way,” Day said. “I was blessed with a childhood filled with love, joy, and lots of laughter. Once my family moved to Shawnee, OBU became a big part of my everyday life, which I believe was the Lord using my interaction with the university to prepare me to attend as a full-time student.”

As she reflects on these past four years at OBU, Day said she has grown more as a believer, future educator, friend, student, and member of society than I could have ever imagined.

“The Lord has used professors, peers, and experiences the past four years to shape me into who I am today,” she said. “Not all of it has been easy, but I see the Lord's hand through it all and am grateful for how every season, trial, and blessing has shaped me. I am now in my last semester on Bison Hill as a much more intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally mature young woman. OBU has played such a large role in my life for so many years, that I cannot imagine my life without it.”

She looks forward to the impact her experience at OBU will have on her life as a teacher, wife, mother, mentor and friend.

Upon graduation, Day plans to teach elementary music education, with aspirations to lead a high school choral program someday. She is open to the possibility of graduate school but is committed to making a difference in the field of music education and advocating for its vitality in schools.

“I know I will be well-equipped to teach music in the classroom and to do so within the lens of how a Christian educator should conduct themselves,” she said. “I am prepared to be a future shaper, and that is exactly what I plan to do.”

Melissa Lee: A Guiding Light

Lee, an OBU alumna who graduated in 2011 with a major in vocal music education, is currently the music teacher for Washington Elementary School, serving grades PK-5 in Washington, Oklahoma. Her journey as an educator has taken her through various schools, including Orvis Risner Elementary in Edmond, Oklahoma, and Shawnee Middle School in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Lee's connection with Day goes back to Day's freshman year in high school when her husband Justin, served as Day's choir director. Melissa Lee and Day interacted at choral events, and she provided vocal coaching for Day during her high school years.

Last summer, when Lee was considering returning to teaching after staying home with her children, Day approached her with a heartfelt request: "I want to pray about this, but would you consider having me as a student teacher?" Lee's heartwarming response reflects her passion for mentorship and music education.

"The thought of getting to further mentor a former student in a career I am so passionate about is what made me smile," Lee says. She acknowledges that Day shares the same passion for teaching music to children, making their collaboration an ideal match.

Future Shapers in Music Education

Both Lee and Day exemplify the qualities of future shapers in the world of music education. They see this in one another – the desire to impact the future positively, find solutions to challenges, and lead with confidence, wisdom, and compassion.

With their common passion for music and appreciation of their experience at OBU, they are both excited to see the path God has readied for them as future shapers.

Let’s do this.